At the start of this year, my coach Craig from Eleven Hills Adventures asked me if I would race at the XCO State Titles at Mackay in October (Olympic). Beg your pardon, I said. When he repeated the question, I just shook my head in disbelief of the thought of even competing in the event, let alone go and race. If I decided to have a go we would race a few Sunshine Series Races and see how I went and then I could make My mind up..
First race was a shocker, I bashed Maggie on a trip over the Conondale Ranges the week before and she would not behave and kept slipping gears, so it seemed like a nightmare at the start, luckily it ended with a second place. Craig kept saying you can win this just believe. It was decided by others at this point if I was racing for the win Maggie would not cut it, so we got a new bike from Gold Coast SuperCycles. Then with no bike issues and packing The Stealth Bomber; I won all the rest of the races plus a few at big private events. It was then I realised I would be competing for the win instead of just having a go.
To say the first two practice laps I rode on Saturday morning were not very successful would be an understatement. The race course was steep, very technical with sketchy rock gardens and tight. Craig even said his seat was hitting him in the chest in one section. On the first lap I was following Cooper who was also racing but in the under 15 male category. After riding the first few A lines I was starting to think that the course was not too bad until I came crashing down off the toughest section of the course, ‘Original Sin.’ Craig said he could hear the crashing of the carbon against the rocks. Luckily I didn’t injure myself badly and was able to get back on the bike. The crash did shake me up a bit and I was not riding with my usual confidence or ability through the next lap which resulted in another real good crash, off a rock garden and down a bank. At this point and pretty near the end of the real hard stuff we decided we would limp through the rest of the lap before I really hurt myself and then come back later in the afternoon, after I give myself a chance to slow it down and think about it.
At this point I started to have big doubts about the race, but luckily my parents, Craig, and Colette’s family (who we were staying with) were very supportive. I had a talk with Craig about the track and ways I could improve, we decided that it would be best to simply take the B line instead of ‘Original Sin,’ despite the loss of about 10 seconds and I would follow him for a lap while we filmed it, I needed to relax and I needed more momentum. Repeat after me, I’ve got this. He was right, after riding a couple more laps in the afternoon, I was feeling way more confident about racing the next day and left the track pretty happy. On the morning of race day, I had the usual nerves but I felt really good riding my last practice lap of the course and was feeling very determined. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of competition in the under 15 female category, but I was pretty excited to race among the under 15 men.
I had a really good start to the race and was the first in my category to hit the single track after the climb. I felt really strong throughout the race and rode the best I had all weekend. The best part was that I really enjoyed myself, especially when I could hear Mum and Colette’s family cheering for me. I was very proud to cross the finish line as the under 15 female State Champion.
Cooper also had a great race and finished third. Congratulations to all the other people who raced. I loved the race course, it was challenging, super technical and was nothing like I have every raced before.
Thank you Gold Coast Super Cycles for my Top Fuel 9.8.
Thank you Craig from Eleven Hills Adventures for your mentoring and training, as well as supporting me before and during the race.
Thank you Mum and Dad for all you do for me to help me pursue my passion.
Thank you for all the support from my friends and family from home, as well as the Sunshine Coast Hinterland MTB Group.